Key players: Senior Carly Clarke (OF); sophomores Holly Daum (OF), Hunter Little (IF), Emily Lloyd (P/IF/OF) and Breann Smith (1B).
What you need to know: The Gators have improved each of the last two seasons and bring back five starters from last year's team. There are some notable players that graduated, including pitcher Emily Wang and catcher Anna Bennett, but the fact that there were so many freshmen that got experience on varsity a season ago should go a long way.
In fact, there are five sophomores — Holly Daum, Hunter Little, Emily Lloyd, Breann Smith and Abby Wang — that got at least 39 plate appearances last year. That's important because the roster features just a combined three players that are juniors or seniors.
"We are a young team, but we are filled with solid softball players. Most of our underclassmen have played together before and I think that will help us find success on the field," coach Julie Frisvold said.
The lone senior — Carly Clarke — is a great one. She hit for a .429 batting average, had 14 extra-base hits (including 5 home runs), had 37 RBI and 35 runs scored. A four-year varsity starter, she made first-team all-county last year and is headed to play at Fairmont State University next year.
"I believe that she has the presence of mind to help make our young team come together and give their best on the field," Frisvold said.
At pitcher, Lloyd will take over the main duties in the circle after tossing 39 innings last year as a freshman and posting a 2.33 ERA. Emma Bailey, another sophomore, should see some time at pitcher as well.